Edward Albert Rettman Jr., age 80, of Hutchinson, died Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, at the Harmony River Living Center in Hutchinson.
He was born May 17, 1937, in New Ulm, to Edward and Opal (Ondrachek) Rettman; and baptized June 13, 1937, by the Rev. C. H. Kowalski at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Stewart.
The family moved to a small farm on the south shore of Lake Stella in 1938. Edward attended country school in Ellsworth Township, and graduated from Litchfield High School in 1955.
Ed enlisted in the Army National Guard in January 1955, where he received heavy equipment training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO, in the fall of 1955. He was honorably discharged from the US Army Reserves Jan. 31, 1963, attaining the rank of sergeant E5.
Following adult instruction, Ed was received into membership at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Hutchinson Oct. 20, 1985.
He was married to Eldonna (Alsleben) Roepke Nov. 30, 1985, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church by the Rev. Darrel Thalmann.
Ed operated his own excavating business for 50 years, recently cleaning drainage ditches for area counties. He loved playing with his “tinker toys.”
His hobbies included fishing, hunting, playing cards, traveling, old tyme and country music, watching the Minnesota Lynx and Vikings, and the Outdoor Channel. Some travel highlights were Branson, London, Canadian Rockies, Arizona-Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands, Devil’s Tower, and Alaska. He was thrilled to be able to watch the Vikings play at US Bank Stadium, and the Lynx play at Target Center last year.
Ed liked to kid around and joke with people, or just stop and “give them grief.” He was feisty and ornery, with a marshmallow heart, ready to lend a helping hand. He always seemed to be in a hurry and yet, running late.
Ed enjoyed operating heavy equipment, driving trucks and fast cars, visiting with friends at local watering holes, and talking on the phone. He was very proud of his grandchildren and their accomplishments.
He was a member of American Legion Post 96 of Hutchinson.
Ed is survived by his wife, Eldonna Rettman of Hutchinson; two daughters, Kristine (Brian) Ebent of Waconia, and Kimberly (Keith) Norbie of Chanhassen; four grandchildren, Adam and Alex Ebent, and Jake and Reese Norbie; sister-in-law Elaine Haus and husband, Don; nieces; nephews; cousins; and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Donald Rettman; brother-in-law Jerome Alsleben; sister-in-law LaVonne Boller and her husband, Lyle; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Arthur and Eileen Alsleben; and niece Debra Boller.
Ed’s funeral service took place Friday, Sept. 15 at 11 a.m. at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Hutchinson with Pastor Kevin W. Oster officiating, followed by interment at Oakland Cemetery in Hutchinson.
Visitation was Thursday, Sept. 14 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the church, and continued one hour prior to the service Friday.
The Johnson Funeral Home in Dassel handled the funeral arrangements.